Commanding general expresses support for Marines families

Commanding general expresses support for Marines familiesThis Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps shows a Marine Officer attached to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 uses binoculars to search for debris of a helicopter mishap in Haliewa Beach Park, Hawaii. Rescuers battled winds of up to 23 mph and waves up to 30 feet as they searched for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters they were in crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.(Cpl. Ricky S. Gomez/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — The latest in the crash of two Marine helicopters off Hawaii (all times local):

1 p.m.

The commanding general of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing says he understands first-hand the “emotional roller coaster” families of 12 Marines missing off Hawaii are feeling.

Brig. Gen. Russell Sanborn told reporters Sunday that his wife went through similar emotions when he was shot down 25 years ago during Operation Desert Storm and was listed as missing in action.

Two helicopters each carrying six Marines went down off Oahu’s north shore late Thursday.

Rescuers from various agencies have been searching round-the-clock.

The Coast Guard says there’s no intention to call off or suspend the search on Sunday. Coast Guard Capt. James Jenkins says families will be notified in advance when officials plan to end the search.

A high surfing warning extended to Sunday was downgraded later in the afternoon to an advisory.

10:00 a.m.

A retired Coast Guardsman who’s an expert on sea emergencies says the 12 Marines aboard two helicopters that crashed off Hawaii have a lot to overcome.

Mario Vittone was a helicopter swimmer and maritime accident investigator with the Coast Guard. He says the crash would have happened very quickly. The Marines would have had to survive the crash, then the on-rushing of water, followed by dehydration and exposure to the elements.

Two helicopters each carrying six Marines went down off Oahu’s north shore late Thursday. On Saturday, officials expanded the search area to the island’s west coast.

Vittone says expanding the search area lowers the probability of detection.

Rescuers have been searching round-the-clock. The Coast Guard says there’s no intention as of Sunday morning to call off or suspend the search just yet.

8:30 a.m.

The Coast Guard says crew members looking for 12 Marines missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii had to alter their search patterns because of a laser.

The Coast Guard says a green laser off Haleiwa Beach Park struck an aircraft searching for the Marines on Saturday night. Crew members weren’t exposed to the laser and didn’t need to land, but they changed their search patterns to avoid being struck again.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Tara Molle says lasers can be life-threatening for crew members flying at night. She says it can cause a temporary loss of night vision.

Two helicopters each carrying six Marines went down off Oahu’s north shore late Thursday.

Molle says there’s no intention as of Sunday morning to call off or suspend the search.

7:30 a.m.

Large waves persist as search and rescue efforts are underway for 12 Marines missing after two helicopters crashed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

The National Weather Service says a high surf warning for the north and west shores of Oahu is extended until noon Sunday. The surf is expected to subside to advisory levels in the afternoon.

Two helicopters each carrying six Marines went down off Oahu’s north shore late Thursday.

The Coast Guard says the search area was expanded Saturday to include waters off the west coast of the island.

Honolulu lifeguards on rescue water crafts are expected to resume helping with the search at about 8:30 a.m.

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